A hallmark season: celebrate the kick-off of our 40th season with CLASS

Welcome back movers!

With the start of September, it also brings us to the start of our season here at Dance Exchange. This year, that’s huge. First, it comes after a swell of support by each of you to help move us into this season. For that, and for all of the ways you continue to support and show up, we sincerely thank you. It reminds us of the value of this work, work that we all believe is needed in the world, and reaffirms our dedication and commitment to building on this legacy through our gathering, moving, and making. This season is also a milestone for the company because it marks our 40th year! To celebrate all of these, we are kicking things off with a number of ways to join us in the studio! First up: CLASS!

This month, we will be moving with some Dance Exchange veterans. Brining us back in Friday CLASS will be me all month, and our Takoma Park MOVES starts up with our fearless Artistic Director, Cassie Meador! Also in the studio with us will be our musicians-in-residence David Schulman and Mark H. Rooney! Check out the schedules below to see who is in and when! And dont’ forget: start the season off by saving and get your class card! See you there.

* + live music with David Schulman
** + live music with Mark H. Rooney

Matthew Cumbie with Thomas Dwyer in Dance Exchange's 'New Hampshire Ave: This Is a Place To..." Photo by Ben Carver.

Friday CLASS w/ Matthew Cumbie: September 11**, 18th, & 25*

Matthew Cumbie is a dance maker, educator, and collaborator based in Washington, DC, and is a Resident Artist and the Education Coordinator for Dance Exchange. He believes in the resiliency and resourcefulness of the body, and in the power of storytelling and collaborative art making to transform. His work explores his interests in activism and improvisation, bringing a poetic lens to a specifically queer experience.

Matthew has been commissioned by professional dance companies and university dance programs throughout the US, and has shown work in places ranging from the non-traditional, like in cars and online symposiums, to the more theatrical, like at Harvard University and major theaters. His interest in collaborative processes has led him to work with artists Keith Thompson, Sarah Gamblin, jhon stronks, Paloma McGregor, Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser, Annie Kloppenberg, among others, and to co-found Big Rig Dance Collective. With Dance Exchange, Matthew collaborates in and out of the studio with a range of artists, activists, community members, environmentalists, and others committed to creative research and embodied scholarship. Outside of the studio, he directs Dance Exchange’s in-house educational programming and manages a number of creative projects. He holds an MFA in dance from Texas Woman’s University.

Class Description: I am curious about the processes of orientation and organization, and specifically how those can lead us through the known and the unknown. It is in this liminal space where I feel most alive and integrated, knowing that the ways in which we navigate often lead us to places of discovery and meaning making. Together we will work through these spaces using improvised modalities and choreographed structures, pulling on a postmodern sensibility and release-based concepts, and moving into full three-dimensional dancing: we will be rigorous, playful, supportive, and curious. I am the teacher, and so are you. We will explore individually at times and with others at times to expand our range of movement and choice making. There will be an arc between these classes, and each class will be a stand-alone experience. All are welcome.

Takoma Park MOVES w/ Cassie Meador: September 12**, 19**, & 26

Cassie Meador in 'The Matter of Origins.' Photo by Jaclyn Borowski

Cassie Meador is a choreographer, performer, educator and Artistic Director of the Dance Exchange. Her work is imbued with a passion for her surroundings, a belief in the human capacity for change, and a conviction that art can be a potent form of research and communication.

Recent and current projects give testament to Cassie’s expanding leadership role in the arts, education, and the environment. Reaching over 400 girls, she worked with Girl Scouts of Hawaii to enhance environmental curriculums through movement, art, and community engagement, with the goal of empowering girls to become leaders in their communities. Through three years of work with the faculty at Wesleyan University’s College of the Environment she is influencing educators and students to embrace a cross-disciplinary approach to conservation and environmental education. She was recently selected as the sole artist representative to a research initiative of the International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change. Cassie is an Associate Artist of the Center for Creative Research. Her writing has been commissioned by Dance Magazine and the National Association for Interpretation.

Cassie has taught and created dances in communities throughout the U.S. and internationally in Japan, Canada, London, Ireland, and Guyana. Her work has also been presented at the Bealtaine Festival in Ireland, the Asian Contemporary Art Museum in Japan, Round House Theatre, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Center for the Arts at Wesleyan, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Dance Place, and the Kohler Arts Center. Born in Charleston, SC, and raised Augusta, GA, Cassie received her B.F.A. in dance from The Ohio State University. She joined the performing company of the Dance Exchange in 2002 and assumed the role of Artistic Director in 2011.

A movement class for the entire community, Takoma Park MOVES recognizes the rich possibility of exchanges when people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and levels of experience come together in a creative process. Join us for a mix of professional dancers, those new to dance, community movers, and families. Classes are $12, or $10 per person in a family, and are facilitated by Dance Exchange Artists. 10-11:30 am, Saturdays at Dance Exchange. All ages welcome.

About Matthew Cumbie

Matthew Cumbie (Resident Artist/Education Coordinator) is a dance artist and collaborator who currently lives in Washington, DC.